As every year, WHO regional offices schedule their Regional Committee Meetings (RCM) between the months of August and October, in order to discuss and monitor progress on regional commitments. The first RCM was the 69th Session of the Regional Committee for Africa (link is external), taking place during the week of 19-23 August 2019 in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo. Ghana NCD Alliance national coordinator Labram Musah and Martha Coffie, advocate living with a mental health condition and working with the Mental Health Society of Ghana attended the regional meeting.
The AFRO RCM discussed several NCD-related agenda items, including one specific agenda item for the discussion of a report on 'Accelerating the response to NCDs in the African Region in line with the Political Declaration of the High-level Meeting of the General Assembly on the prevention and control of NCDs', which highlights the challenges of addressing NCDs in the region, and some policy recommendations to face the NCD burden.
"It’s our hope that this call to action is considered with all the attention it requires to alleviate the financial hardship people especially people living with NCDs, young people and the marginalized groups face on daily basis" said Martha Coffie, who delivered a statement on this agenda item, calling Member States in the AFRO region to accelerate regional and national action on NCDs. The statement was presented on behalf of the NCD Alliance, the Union for International for Cancer Control, Ghana NCD Alliance, NCD Alliance Nigeria, NCD Alliance Kenya, Uganda NCD Alliance, East Africa NCD Alliance, Zambia NCD Alliance, Cameroon Civil Society NCD Alliance, South Africa NCD Alliance, Burundi NCD Alliance, Rwanda NCD Alliance, Coalition MNT Togo, Coalition Nigérienne contre les MNT, and West African Alcohol Policy Alliance.
The statement included four main asks for Member States: